The Wonderful World of Was: January
Now short enough for email!
Happy new year, my lovely people!
As I look at the date and time as I write this, it is 18 December 2022, 10:18pm. It’s an early start to me writing this newsletter: about three weeks before it finds its way to your inbox, or to Substack, if you haven’t subscribed (you can remedy that gross oversight by finding that purple “Subscribe” button below and entering your email address). The reason I’m writing this so early is because it is the last thing I’m writing in 2022. After this, I’m taking a break from smashing my keyboard, and will resume at some point in January, at which point, I’ll tackle Till Death Do Us Party’s next draft (it’ll be a minor effort, massaging what’s already there)—I know, I know, last month, I said I’d start it this month, but the lure of taking a break from writing is a little too strong.
If you frequent my website, you may have seen a blog post, Another Year Over, where I reflect on the year that was, look at the year before, and because I have a chronic inability not to leap to tangents, direct you to 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?” Why not take a gander and see how my year went, and what’s in store?
Given there’s just shy of two weeks left to go until year’s end at the time of writing, it may be a little early for me to enact a new year’s resolution, but fuck it, I’m a rebel: I resolve to make these newsletters “short enough for email.” While Gmail lets me view the entire newsletter (if I subscribe to my own newsletter, you have no excuse to not), Substack tells me it’s too long to fit. Which tells me these things may be a little long.
So, having already
wasted used 304 words of my allotted space, let’s dive in.
Look at those tiny bars in December! My smallest word count since May, and the equal least amount of hours spent editing all year (tied with April). Of course, December being December, it lends itself to less work, especially when you stop writing a little over halfway into the month.
So, rather than focus on December’s poor showing, let’s look at what I’ve accomplished over the year. Not only did I write two more drafts of Till Death Do Us Party and one more of Luminary, I wrote (copied and pasted from my Another Year Over post—I’m including the link again for posterity):
80 book reviews (though, to be more accurate, I actually wrote 85… but the author of five of them told me after the fact that they no longer want any reviews attached to their book)!
25 pieces of news, updates and associated spam!
All this adds up, meaning throughout 2022, I wrote 353,992 words and spent 271 hours editing.
I may have written 80 book reviews, but that wasn’t all my reading throughout 2022. You can add more than 70 to that number, with me cracking 150 throughout the year. I don’t have the final number yet as I still have some more reading to do.
For a (nearly) complete list of all the books I read throughout the year, and to get an almost accurate picture of everything I read, check out my Goodreads Year in Books! It’s out by one, since one book I reviewed hasn’t been added, and not all books include the page count, so it’s under-reporting a little bit, but regardless, check it out. And if you’re on Goodreads, let’s follow each other. I genuinely love seeing what others are reading.
So, It’s a Little Late for Christmas…
I know, I know, Christmas was so last year, right?
I wrote The Naughty List in time for Christmas, and published it a couple of days before the big day. But because of my insistence on publishing this newsletter at the beginning of the month, instead of the end, I’m providing updates about last month. Last month, my Christmas story was timely, this month, not so much. But I’m sharing the link, anyway.
The Naughty List is part of my dystopian smartworld, and its very first sequel (to The Twelve Days, which I shared the link for last month, but am sharing again). It’s not enamoured with the Christmas spirit, so if you can stomach it while recovering from the silly season, check it out.
The Glass Onion’s Half Full
The man widely considered to be Star Wars’ greatest villain, Rian Johnston*, is back with a sequel that shouldn’t have fans demanded he be frozen in carbonite. Glass Onion promises to be an absolute delight, if the reviews are any indication. And the trailer, which I included above, is brilliant. If you’re a fan of Knives Out (and if you’re not, why not?), this promises to be another wonderful mystery.
*Not me, though. I love The Last Jedi. It and Rogue One are my favourite Star Wars movies.
Yesterday was Saturday, and I shared some snippets (click here if you don’t believe me). Not only did I share a number more snippets from Till Death Do Us Party, I also threw in a number from The Naughty List to entice you to read it. Admittedly, even though the story was posted in time for Christmas, those snippets weren’t (outside of Twitter—follow me for timely snippets!).
Predictions for 2023
Considered by some to be a modern Nostradamus, Bulgarian prophet Baba Vanga made a number of predictions before her death for the year ahead (click here for History’s full article):
A solar storm that could cause fires and electric shocks and disrupt communications, and knock out the power grid for years to come.
A change in the Earth’s orbit, potentially caused by an asteroid impact, resulting in anything between terrible environmental consequences and extinction.
A major country undertaking bioweapons tests, with the potential to cause great harm to humanity.
A solar storm destroying the power grid while Earth spins off its axis and a country unleashes bioweapons on us all would make for a kinda shitty year, I have to say.
You won’t be getting any book reviews in January, so the reviews I published in December (and the other 74 reviews from throughout the year) will have to satiate you. I read an eclectic mix of stories with some truly interesting results:
Hierarchy of Needs by Christa Wojciechowski
Test of the Four: Book Two of the Serrulata Saga by A.E. Bennett
Corpses in Colombo: A Sri Lankan Mystery Novella by Nadishka Aloysius
A Soul as Cold as Frost by Jennifer Kropf
Children of Decay by Gopi Bain
Mayatte’s Catharsis: A Feathered Serpent Reborn by Jack E. Mohr
That’s a Wrap
And the time has come where I must sign off from the all-new, all-shorter newsletter, before taking a break from writing before jumping back in with the new year.
As I said at the beginning of this newsletter, happy new year. May 2023 be a year full of awesomeness for you and those you love.